Senators Ponder 2012 and a GOP Senate Majority

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Egypt was not the only regime change story last week. As discussed previously on the Donk, on my blog, and elsewhere, the Democrats were already facing a huge uphill climb to hold their Senate majority past the 2012 election:

“Of the 33 Senate races up for consideration 23 seats are currently held by Democrats. Moreover, many of those Democrats are among the putative moderate/conservative class of Democratic Senators that won narrow races in red states on the strength of the 2006 Democratic wave election. Among that class are Webb in Virginia, McCaskill in Missouri and Tester in Montana.”

That climb just got a whole lot steeper, as incumbent Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb announced last week that he will not run for a second term. This is not a surprise. Webb has been quite open about his frustration with the Democratic leadership. As a consequence, the Republicans are licking their chops and Democrats are grasping at straws.

What seemed likely last fall is now a virtual certainty – the Republicans will retake the Senate majority in 2012. The only way to retain our happily divided government and avoid a rerun of One Party Republican Rule in 2013, will be to re-elect Barack Obama.

Another Democratic* Senator, Republican Roy Blunt (R-Mo), is also reading the 100 POINT ARIAL BOLD writing on the wall and finds some good things to say about divided government:

“With a growing number of Democratic Senate colleagues worrying about their political futures, a Republican led House, and even a president willing to reach to the other side of the aisle, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt sees opportunity for bipartisanship. “Divided government gives us the opportunity to do hard things, but both sides will have to be willing,” Blunt said Wednesday afternoon to a news conference with Missouri reporters. “If we’re going to get things done, it’s going to require bipartisan support.”

Of course, in addition to divided government giving Congress the “opportunity to do hard things”, it also gives the Congress the opportunity to not do stupid and bad things, like:

  • Squander our blood and treasure to occupy Iraq (One Party Republican Rule)
  • Pass wildly expensive stimulus legislation that does not stimulate (One Party Democratic Rule)
  • Pass wildly expensive and complex Health Care Reform that does not reform the health care system (One Party Democratic Rule)
  • Irresponsibly increase spending and the deficit to insane record levels (One Party Republican Rule), then increase the spending rate to even more insane levels while exploding the deficit to even more irresponsible record levels (One Party Democratic Rule)

We’ve now had divided government restored for only a little over a month. It is still early, but as President Obama moves to the center, and Republicans move toward fiscal sanity, I am optimistic.

So far, so good.


*CORRECTED – Hat tip – Jim S in comments. Also removed “Democratic” from the title. My bad.

X-posted & excerpted from Divided We Stand United We Fall.